I was standing in the shade watching the Irish Cobs (or Gypsy Vanners as they are called in the US) trot around the stadium, admiring their beauty and grace and feeling too hot and tired when a lady walked up to me and said kindly "are you feeling OK? It's very hot out here and I have to say you are pretty amazing to be standing up and watching all this!" Normally I would just respond "oh thank you I'm fine!", but ten minutes earlier I had once again, for the fiftieth time in an hour, told my three year old to calm down and stop shouting, had placated my nearly two year old with my phone, and when I went to stand up thought I was going to faint. It was at that moment that I told myself that that's it. We have three weeks left to 40 weeks and I AM super pregnant, and I need to start relaxing and resting and getting my body ready for birthing another one and making sure he or she has a healthy mama. I ended up just telling the lady I was fine anyway, because I was really, but told myself that it was OK to admit to exhaustion.
I have a history of overdoing it. When I was working at my first job in NYC I had a tendency to never say no, and the more overwhelmed I became the more I took on. Sometimes I would even relish being at work after 7pm or before 7am just because I knew no one would call me and no one expected an email back from me right then, so I could actually get stuff done without interruption. Until one day I just gave up and walked away. I'm sure things would have been so much easier if I had just stopped saying "yes" and pushing myself all the time, and figured out some kind of healthier life/work balance.
I settled in to a different job, working less, living off less, feeling much happier, but then again, took on another job and as many shifts as I could. I could never say no then either, although I don't regret any of those moments, just the fact that I didn't take sleep more seriously... And then when I was pregnant for the first time I continued to work crazy hours until all of a sudden my 39 week body said stop. When I finally stopped running around I couldn't get up anymore. The couch became my friend, my feet, which I had constantly been on up until then, swelled three times their size, and I could barely focus on the work I had to do from home. All that I wanted was to close my eyes and imagine holding my firstborn in my eyes. I still got up for my 40 week check up, walked the 2 miles to the subway, took two trains from Flushing to Fort Greene in Brooklyn and walked to the clinic, and went all the way back again. Hoping but not hoping that I would go into labour on the way there so I wouldn't have to do the return trip. No luck there. Little Luna took a while to leave her cozy little home. But it took my quite a while to recover from childbirth and I felt like an alien in my own skin for a bit, not understanding why this body I had always pushed forward was actually pushing me back.
Things DID change after that, I stayed at home with Luna, revived my freelance writing career that had been off and on for years, and managed to get pregnant again within 7 months. A more complicated pregnancy pushed me to really take it easy, but yet again, I refused to think that a 4 mile walk in the summer heat to the hospital at 37 weeks was not a normal pastime. Maybe it was though, because after all the complications Aurora was born easily and rapidly at nearly 41 weeks, a long, healthy baby with the calmest demeanor. And motherhood with two suddenly felt a lot easier than motherhood with one. For some reason I let go in a way, and everything just seemed to function a lot better. Or maybe I just got more sleep? I don’t know, but I know that I did start to put less pressure on myself. I stopped working for a few months and enjoyed being a stay at home mother of two without all of the rushing around and stress that comes from being a freelance writer.
Maybe I just strive on pushing myself to my limits? This third pregnancy has been my easiest, sometimes, well up until now, I would forget that I was growing another human and just continue life as normal, surprising myself when I couldn’t fit the belly through a small gap. “Oh, what are you doing here?!” Impossible now of course, especially as the discomfort has really started, and while I was suffering from a bit of pregnancy insomnia in earlier months, I barely get 2 or 3 hours uninterrupted sleep now. Hopefully I will sleep more when the baby arrives (and yes, that IS possible, it happened with my second). I had major plans of finishing my second book, but it has taken me down so many memory lanes that editing is taking longer that I predicted. It will arrive, but when it’s ready, not before. And I will only be taking a week off of work this time. Amidst everything else we are looking for a place to live here and it has become impossible. Rents are beginning to rival NYC rents and people lining up to apply for places, landlords only bothering to check credit before denying you. You could have the best references and income reports ever, if your credit is below 600 there isn’t any point in applying. Hopefully something will be sorted before baby arrives, even if it means actually moving after the birth.
So, from now on, until tiny baby arrives I shall be trying to enjoy the last moments of carrying a child inside my womb, talking and singing and waiting for the jabs and the kicks that I know I will miss forever. I would say that I doubt I will update with a pregnancy-related post until the birth story, but you never know, so I won’t promise anything. I do know that this definitely won’t be my last post on my blog until then anyway! I will update my written journal that I have sorely been neglecting these past few months, finish preparing the baby area (which looks so cute by the way), and try to relax and even sleep as much as possible. I’m still trying to wrap my head around the idea that I am going to be a mother of three, yes THREE, children in less than a month now. Insanity. And after these three times 40 (41) weeks, life will be all about the next steps ahead. I’m already feeling slightly nostalgic believe it or not…
And whoever manages to guess the weight and height of tiny baby based on the picture above will get a copy of With Spring Comes Hope… Just for reference, Luna was 7.13 lbs and 18 inches, Aurora was 7.14 lbs and 21.5 in and I have absolutely no idea what this one will be. Guess away! Exact or closest to exact answer will be announced after baby arrives.